Those are mainly fried in my experience. Whiting big enough to be filleted are fantastic but a bit soft. If they're not big enough to fillet I let them go or use them for bait in a pinch. We don't often get filletable sized croaker down here and I don't care for the madness of spot runs.
It's a lot easier to slip the skin off the fillets than it is to scale the fish. The crumbs stick better to the flesh, than to the skin, as well. Just my preference. When I was a kid, I would scale, behead, and gut the pan fish and then fry them up whole. I never minded dealing with the bones. Later in life, married and with two beautiful daughters, I learned that it's gross to have to use your hands to eat fish. I never knew that when I was young and single.
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